Mobile phone manufacturers are battling smart homes, who will be the first, Xiaomi or Huawei?

smart home

On August 28th, Huawei Terminal held a new product launch conference in Shenzhen, launched the first batch of intelligent lighting products of Huawei’s smart selection brand, and unveiled the “Ark Lab” and set a small goal of 300 billion yuan. There are self-media calls that “Huawei plagiarizes Xiaomi” “Huawei and Xiaomi are determined to compete.” The author believes that it is too early to draw this conclusion.

As early as 2015, Huawei sent a message to the outside world about the layout of smart homes. After nearly three years, Huawei finally released smart home products. Although Xiaomi has the advantage of “pre-emptive”, the mode of the two is different. Huawei is more like Android in IOT. Xiaomi is like Apple’s IOS in IOT.

In recent years, the competition of major mobile phone manufacturers has gradually spread to smart homes. Why are mobile phone manufacturers all arranging smart homes? Will mobile phone manufacturers have an advantage over other platforms for smart homes?

Smart home is the place to win the IoT ticket

Since the acquisition of the thermostat company Nest in Google in 2014, smart homes have ushered in an outbreak. There are countless companies going forward and stepping up their layouts, and the popularity is unprecedented and the coverage is wide. According to incomplete statistics, several active forces in the smart home market are as follows:

PC manufacturers represented by Lenovo and Intel;

Mobile phone manufacturers represented by Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung, and Apple;

A traditional electrical appliance manufacturer represented by Hisense, Gree, Haier, and Midea;

E-commerce platform represented by Jingdong, Suning, etc.;

An Internet platform represented by BAT;

a real estate developer represented by Evergrande;

In addition to the above, the giants of various industries entered the smart home, and some startups that promoted the concept of smart home also ushered in a wave of concentrated eruptions. The variety of smart products is also increasing and diverse. According to data from the foreign survey agency StrategyAnalytics, the world’s best-selling six smart home products are smart speakers, smart light bulbs, smart smoke detectors, smart door locks, smart gateways, control centers and security cameras.

According to the data of China’s smart home equipment industry market prospects and investment report, it is estimated that by 2018, China’s smart home scale will reach 180 billion yuan, and by 2020, the smart home market will reach 357.6 billion yuan. Analysts predict that the global smart home market will reach more than 500 billion yuan in 2021. Such a large plate is not something that a business can eat. In the field of smart home, we need to invest in R&D and exploration. This has also created a phenomenon in which smart homes are blooming and arguing.

From the above layout of smart homes, mobile phone manufacturers are undoubtedly the most powerful. McKinsey once said that smart homes will replace mobile phones and become new terminals in the next decade. With the disappearance of smartphone dividends, the most popular mobile phone brand manufacturers in China have adopted smart homes as the second battlefield.

For example: Xiaomi has built a complete system of self-developed, self-produced and self-selling since 2014, and Huawei has followed closely to build Hilink, a smart home platform. In July this year, many well-known manufacturers such as OPPO, vivo and TCL held a signing ceremony in Shenzhen, announcing the establishment of the IoT Open Ecology Alliance.

With the advent of the 5G era, the concept of “Internet of Everything” will first erupt in the field of smart homes. Smart home belongs to the consumer Internet of Things and is one of the many applications of the Internet of Things. It is the closest to the life of the general public. The country has a huge demographic dividend, which is the driving force for the development of smart homes in various industries.

Smart homes can first connect the products used by the home to the online world, breaking the isolation of the products, and users can control them anytime, anywhere, thereby improving the convenience and happiness of users. Integrating thousands of families into the IOT ecosystem will lay the foundation for the development of smart transportation, smart cities and smarter planets.

Three dysentery, to the smart home “dancing with a pipa”

With the full bloom of smart home products in the market, smart homes are not the specialty of high-end people, and the high prices and convenient experiences make more and more new middle-class and new youths start to use smart homes and enjoy smart life. Convenience. However, as different quality products flood into the market, behind the prosperous smart home, there are a lot of problems, which plague the long-term development of the industry.

Individuals fight, standards are different

Although several major platforms or alliances have been formed with the major giants as the core, the industry still has no leader. Everyone is a competitor, so it is unlikely to be compatible and accessible to each other. Therefore, the entire industry still does not form a unified technical framework and standards. The equipment of each platform is self-contained, and various products are difficult to interconnect, and product parts cannot be interchanged. This also brings huge hidden dangers to the after-sales service of the smart home industry.

At the same time, the experience is extremely poor for the user. For example, each product of a different brand has its own portal app to manage and control smart home devices. When users buy different brands of products, they need to install multiple home apps.

Information disclosure, security risk

There are a lot of jagged products on the market, and the public has insufficient awareness of the safety of the products, which has buried huge hidden dangers of property and life safety. According to reports, smart homes have low difficulty in cracking, high user usage, and concentrated privacy information. Therefore, the behavior of “black-in” smart homes and theft of personal privacy has gradually become an “industry”.

Once a vulnerability occurs in a smart home device that is not detected or repaired in time, it may result in theft of information, loss of property, manipulation of the device, and even life being monitored. Once the smart home is hacked, the consequences are unimaginable.

Exaggerated function, poor experience

There are no shortage of products made by giants in the market, but there are also some fake and shoddy products made by small workshops. In addition, many product forms are larger than the content, do not match the user’s needs, and get some networking and tall and exaggerated operation interface, which is called “smart home.” Using marketing methods and exaggerating functions, the cost is high, resulting in high prices and low market acceptance. Efficient, convenient, and energy-saving practical products are the smart homes that users want most.

China’s smart home industry has passed the concept popularization stage, but consumers’ awareness of smart home awareness is gradually increasing, and the industry is in the initial stage of development. The whole industry of smart homes will also be like the smart phone industry, and there must be a process of shuffling. In this process, many problems will be exposed. Enterprises without technical genes and technology, but relying on marketing hype will be the first to go out. At the same time, it will also precipitate high-quality enterprises and lead the healthy development of the whole industry.

The four major factors in winning the smart home: users, products, technology, channels

At present, the smart home market is in the ascendant, the concentration is still low, and there is no leading enterprise. According to the figures of brand consulting organizations, in the smart home market, even the most prompt brand, the prompt rate is less than 5%, there are a lot of cognitive gaps. So whether it is for the giant or the “up-and-coming talent”, the starting point is the same. At this stage, everyone is in the “trial and error” stage, and it is most important to find the way that suits you best.

Based on the popularity of smartphones and the role of control centers in smart homes, mobile phone manufacturers have a clear entry advantage in the smart home industry. However, mobile phone manufacturers represented by Xiaomi, Huawei, and OPPO/VIVO have different ways of playing in the smart field.

Xiaomi is a platform ecological game, through the equity investment producers, to create a millet ecological chain. Provide the underlying core standards and technologies, open only to the products of the Xiaomi ecological chain, and close the intelligent equipment of the enterprises outside the ecological chain.

Huawei is also a platform ecological game, but it is working with major brands. Huawei provides a comprehensive solution, including standards, open source hardware, embedded OS, etc., but manufacturers can still retain their own standards.

OPPO/VIVO is an alliance game method. It does not focus on any manufacturer, and develops interfaces and agreements with home appliance companies to ensure that products between different companies can be interconnected and jointly provide products and services that meet consumer needs.

The gameplay is very different, but whether you can win the smart home field requires the following factors.

First, in terms of users, among the many enterprises in the field of smart home, among them, mobile phone manufacturers and large Internet platforms such as BAT have the largest number of users. Because smart homes have lower penetration rates for users than smartphones, users on these platforms may not be able to convert to their smart home brands, so they need to increase their awareness of the brand. Only a loyal user can build a moat. In the trial and error phase, a huge user data base can also provide a basis for product development.

Second, in terms of products, mobile phone manufacturers own mobile phones as the entrance to control smart homes, but not all scenarios rely on mobile phones in smart homes, so some companies have released smart speakers or routers as the center to control smart homes. In the future, it is not a single item as an entrance, but the platform must have a high-frequency, ready-to-connect, and user-friendly item. Products and users complement each other, without a hard product, the platform will not attract users.

Third, in terms of technology, the foundation of smart home is the use of technology, such as big data, artificial intelligence, voice interaction, and sensing technology. At this stage, many companies rely on low-priced items and marketing concepts to attract attention, but in the future, they must fight for patents and spelling techniques. When developing products, companies should consider how to make smart home appliances operate smoothly, improve product performance, and provide reliable smart home appliance connectivity and sensing solutions in a complex home environment.

Fourth, in terms of channels, at this stage, the market is still only scattered smart items, so users can buy offline or online. Smart homes are more important to experience. As an experience center for smart home products, offline stores have offline channels, which is very beneficial for promoting smart home products. In the future, the sales order of smart home retail stores is smart items, smart scene sets, and whole house system sets. Once the smart home products break out, the future will be the single retail + system new retail channel model.

In the future, smart homes will truly move from concept to mature application, and will break the three laws of “smart items, standardized manufacturing, and functional services” and rapidly evolve into the direction of “set-up interconnection, on-demand customization, and ecological services”. For the platform of the smart home layout, it is not a single sale of explosive products, but the need to provide users with a smart home overall solution. In order to grasp the initiative in the smart family scene, you need to fight users, spell products, spell technology, and fight channels.

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